Raised beds for n00bs

Thanks to all who replied to my previous question. Clearly, I've got some work to do. :)
I've settled on a pair of 2ftx8ftx2ft high boxes to start the spring. As for the wood, I'm considering PT for the rot resistance but something nagging in the back of my mind remembers outgassing of formaldehyde from PT?
Also, the question of what they get filled with is kind of important and I've been unable to find anything resembling a consensus. My current thought is 1/2 topsoil and 1/2 aged horse manure as a start.
What else should I be looking at?
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g'day cipher,
we use a lot of spent mushroom compost from the mushroom farm.
http://www.lensgarden.com.au/straw_bale_garden.htm
http://www.lensgarden.com.au/builds.htm
wrote: snipped
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Way too much manure. Use about 29 lbs. of horse manure per 100 square (13 kg/9.3 M), plus 10 lbs. (4.5 kg) brown vegetative material (leaves, stems, ect). Otherwise you will leak nutrients like chemical fertilizers do, and consume your organic material too quickly.
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"Cipher" wrote

PT not good. Your memory is right. It has various chemicals in it that are carcinogenic and leach to the soil in direct contact.
What a neighbor did as he wanted the looks of wood, was outer frame in PT (for it's last) and inner frame with cement blocks. He ran black plastic under the cinder blocks then staple gunned to the wood on the inner side. Seems ok to me!
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I use composite deck boards. I cut them for four and six feet lengths. I hope they last for eternity. The boards are thinner and a more flexible. Why I cut them short. They come in 5 1/4 and ten inch heights.
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Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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Cipher wrote:

What is "PT"? If it is treated timber it depends on what it is treated with.

What is the nature of the topsoil that you have access to? What do you want to grow in it? Half horse manure is rather a lot.
David
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check out this site for raised bed information. They have a great composted that takes 7 years to make. It has pictures of beds and shows how good the plants look. I seen this my self.
"Cipher" wrote in message
Thanks to all who replied to my previous question. Clearly, I've got some work to do. :)
I've settled on a pair of 2ftx8ftx2ft high boxes to start the spring. As for the wood, I'm considering PT for the rot resistance but something nagging in the back of my mind remembers outgassing of formaldehyde from PT?
Also, the question of what they get filled with is kind of important and I've been unable to find anything resembling a consensus. My current thought is 1/2 topsoil and 1/2 aged horse manure as a start.
What else should I be looking at?
--
The word "urgent" is the moral of the story "The boy who cried wolf". As
a general rule I don't believe it until a manager comes to me almost in
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
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